One should not be afraid of the scarcity of
those who tread on the right path
O' people, do not wonder at the
small number of those who follow the right path, because people throng
only round the table (of this world) whose edibles are few but whose
hunger is insatiable.
O' people, certainly, what gathers
people together (in categories) is (their) agreement (to good or bad) and
(their) disagreement, for only one individual killed the camel of Thamud
(1) but Allah
held all of them in punishment because all of them joined him by their
acquiescing in their consenting to it. Thus, Allah, the Glorified. has
Then they hamstrung her, and
turned (themselves) regretful. (Qur'an, 26:157).
Then their land declined by sinking
(into the earth) as the spike of a plough pierces unploughed weak land. O'
people, he who treads the clear path (of guidance) reaches the spring of
water, and whoever abandons it strays into waterless desert.
(1). Thamud, in ancient Arabia, a tribe or group of
tribes, seems to have been prominent from about the 4th Century B.C. to
the first half of the 7th Century A.D. Their place of stay and homeland
was at a place lying on the way between the Hijaz and Syria called the
Valley of al-Qura and bore this name because it consisted of several
deputed for their guidance and directions the Prophet Salih who preached
to them as Allah relates in his story:
unto (the people of) Thamud (We did send) their brother Salih, he said:
"O' my people! worship ye Allah (alone). Ye have no god other than Him;
indeed came unto you a clear proof from your Lord; this is the She-camel
of Allah (which) unto you is a sign, so leave it (free) to pasture in
Allah's earth and touch her not with any harm, or ye shall be seized
with a painful chastisement. And remember when He made you successors
after the (people) `Ad and settled you in the earth, ye build mansions
on its plain and hew the mountains into dwellings. So remember ye the
bounties of Allah, and see ye not evil in the earth, making mischief."
Said the chiefs of those who were puffed up with pride among his people
to those who were reckoned weak, to those who believed from among them;
"Know ye that Salih is sent by his Lord?" Said they: "Verily, in what he
hath been sent with, we are believers." Said those who were puffed up
with pride; "Verily we, in that which ye believe are disbelievers." They
hamstrung the She-camel and rebelled against the command of their Lord,
and they said: "O' Salih! bring us what thou didst, threaten us with, if
thou art of the apostles.
Then seized them (unawares) the earthquake, so became they in their
dwellings, motionless (dead). Then he turned away from them and said:
"O' my people! Indeed I did deliver unto you the message of my Lord, and
did admonish you, but ye love not the admonishers." (Qur'an, 7:73-79).
(The people of) Thamud belied the warners, and said they: "What! a
single man, from among us! and we to follow him? Verily then we shall be
astray and in distress. It is that (the duty of) reminding hath been
bestowed on him (alone), of all the (people) among us? Nay! he is a
great liar, an insolent one!" "Soon they shall know on the morrow, (as
to) who is the liar, the insolent one! (O' Our Apostle Salih!) verily We
are going to send the She-camel as a trial for them; so watch them and
(thou O' Salih!) make them aware (beforehand) that the water is (to be)
divided between them; and every drinking share shall be witnessed (on
it)." But they called their companions, then he pursued (her) and
(great) was My chastisement and My warning? Verily sent We upon them a
single (violent) blast, and they were (all) like the dry stubble used by
a fencer in a fence. (Qur'an, 54:23-31).